Memories of the BR 23

Memories of the BR 23

By Roger Heid


Once in a while, during the mid fifties and early sixties, I encountered the B23 steam loco. She was very impressive. The drive wheels were taller than me. She looked like a slightly smaller version of the BR 01. In the US, there was a very similar locomotive in use, called the Pacific. This was in the ‘Golden Age’ of railroads.



More often than not, the train I rode was a ‘Fast Train’ which came through twice a day, once going north, and once going south. It did stop at our station. Sometimes, I got on that train just for the enjoyment of it. The passenger cars were of different types, all of them the 4-axle kind. They were far more quiet and comfortable than those we usually rode in. Below you can see some sample pictures.



During the ten years of my commuting, I saw changes in the models of these cars. I cannot remember all of the types. I also encountered the BR 23 on some occasional Express Train long distance trips. It seemed she could easily do 75mph.

About two years ago, I bought the Maerklin BR 23 (#30050) from Reynaulds. It is a sixties retro model. It is built like the proverbial brick outhouse, all metal construction. The wheels and drive gear are shiny chrome plated. It is truly a very good looking model.



The product description says that there is a Telex coupler on the tender. This is incorrect. Instead, there is an old fashioned Relex Coupler, no NEM pocket. This is perfectly fine by me. I don’t like the new Maerklin Telex coupler, anyway.

Back in those days, LEDs did not exist yet. Therefore, the head lights are the old style incandescent light bulbs, just like it used to be. There is really a lot of light flooding the track. Beautiful! I always liked that.

It comes with an mfx decoder, no sound effects. That’s ok with me. Back then we never had that, anyway. The propulsion system is modern, however. She can creep at a very low speed and she is very fast, at full throttle, just like locos used to be. Great!

I have a suitable express passenger train with interior lights. In darkness, this train is quite a show. I just love it.

Unfortunately, this model is no longer available from Maerklin, but Reynaulds still has some in stock. Otherwise, there are models 39233 and 39234. Both have all the whistles and bells.


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